Mesa increases incentives to replace grass lawns with xeriscapes to save water

Feb 14, 2023, 4:45 AM

(Facebook Photo/Glendale Water Conservation & Xeriscape Garden)...

(Facebook Photo/Glendale Water Conservation & Xeriscape Garden)

(Facebook Photo/Glendale Water Conservation & Xeriscape Garden)

PHOENIX — Xeriscape landscapes are a popular site in Arizona that use desert-adapted plants, many of which are native to the state. The option also saves water compared to traditional grass lawns, which is why Mesa is encouraging its residents to make a change.

The East valley city is offering up to $1,100 to remove grass and replace it with a more environmentally resilient design.

There are two levels of incentives: yards needing 500-999 square feet of grass conversion are eligible for $750 and those greater than 1,000 square feet are able to receive up to $1,000.

Homeowner association communities and businesses can also apply for incentives.

The city is offering money for planting trees, as well. One tree is worth a $50 incentive and two are $100. Trees that thrive in the desert climate include several species of palo verdes, mesquites and acacias, which can provide shade to lower air temperatures and absorb carbon dioxide.

The city said the lawn change can limit a home’s water usage by more than 50% while presenting a natural environment for local wildlife like butterflies and birds.

According to the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, desert-adapted plants naturally thrive in Arizona’s soil, which reduces the need for fertilizer. Mulches can help reduce evaporation to keep the soil fresh, as well.

Water stewardship is one of six key areas of the Mesa Climate Action Plan, the latest version of which was updated in June 2022.

The offer is not retroactive, so interested residents would need to contact the city before making the change.

Peoria and Chandler also both offer rebates for grass lawn conversions.

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Mesa increases incentives to replace grass lawns with xeriscapes to save water